I've been traveling a lot lately. It gives me plenty of time to think and process. For some reason the whole concept of fairy tales popped into my mind the other day. They're so happy...but I think that's because all we get to read is the beginning. They all end with, "and they lived happily ever after."
The fairy tale doesn't have the chapter where you sit in a broken van and watch the life draining from your wife's face, feeling helpless and scared. It doesn't have the chapter where you hold your daughter to your chest and wait...and wait...as her heart beats its final beats. No one would want to read the fairy tale where we really got to see what happens later on. If feels like our fairy tale ended with, "and they lived happily, until the end."
The hard part about losing you this way is that there was no time to say goodbye. I feel horrible about it, but I'm sometimes jealous of people who lose their loved ones after a long battle with an illness. They sometimes get months, or years, to say goodbye. I don't think that would make it hurt any less, but I do wonder if it "mutes" the pain of loss due to stretching the goodbye out over time. I guess I don't know, and I don't really want to test my hypothesis.
I think about things I would have wanted to say to you, if there had been time. I'd want to thank you for the "fairy tale." For showing me that true love does exist, and that it is simple and pure, not complex and chemical. As I travel I have time to think about what that means for my life. I'd want to thank you for showing me that marriage is good, wonderful, full of wonder and adventure, and something that SHOULD be pursued, not given up on. I'd want to thank you for making marriage something that I want to experience and share again with someone else, using the template and skills created and learned over 15 years. Thank you for that life gift.
I feel like I'm moving into the final, but longest stage of grief. The one that lasts the rest of my life. I've just recently started to have "moments" when a normal, everyday event sparks the memory of you, and Miranda, and brings soft tears to my eyes. It usually passes within in minute or two, and often ends with a happy smile of remembrance on my face. I have come to accept that my love for you has reached its peak (but what a peak it was) and will grow no more; but, it will also never shrink. It's in stasis, unchanged until the day when the Lord calls me home to join you, and all those who have gone before.
I love you. I miss you. Give Miranda a kiss from daddy.